Okay, so not everyone dreads cooking. Some people actually love it. So once things were rolling with their smart ovens and Yummly, Mathew set his sights on one of life’s most dreaded chores: laundry. (It never, ever stops, right?). So they created a smart washing machine that has a big “tank” to hold enough detergent for up to 90 loads. The washing machine keeps track of how many cycles you’ve run and then automatically replenishes your detergent through Amazon when you’re close to running out. The launch was the biggest in Whirlpool’s history of connected products.
But thrilled as the company was about their revolutionary machine, Mathew could see another, less intuitive opportunity—making what goes into the machine: the detergent. Here’s why: laundry detergent is a $7 billion a year industry. (Yes, you read that right: billion with a b). So they worked with chemists and formulators to create their own line of concentrated detergents, Swash, designed specifically for their washing machines to produce better results.
This move helps Whirlpool stay connected to their customers throughout their journey with Whirlpool products. That means when they’re finally ready to replace an appliance, they’ll have thought of Whirlpool in the last couple of weeks, not 10 years ago. “By going into detergent, we’re now capturing the larger share of the cleaning ecosystem,” he says. “The overall objective is to have roughly 25% of our connected users being paid users to our subscription replenishment program in the next few years. This puts us in a position to help consumers do less and get more, while providing our company a higher share of wallet around that experience, whether you buy our brand of machine or not.”
And while the extra revenue is great, the strategy goes well beyond the bottom line. “We’re no longer talking about just selling boxes,” says Mathew. “We’re finally talking about selling services and subscriptions, and our strategy gives us an opportunity to learn what it’s like to offer a subscription, to acquire consumers, to retain consumers, to figure out the pricing model.
“I believe this will be a pivot point in the history of our company,” he concludes. “It brought us to a new horizon and increased the opportunity for us to broaden the impact we can make on our customers. It’s an exciting time to be at Whirlpool, and this transformation will help us achieve our simple objective: making the act of cooking and cleaning easier, better, and faster.”